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Dental Assisting Department Overview

The Dental Assisting curriculum is designed to provide opportunities for the learner to develop a sound fundamental background for the practice of dental assisting. The specialized knowledge in the field of dental assisting prepares the learner and graduate to contribute to the world of dentistry for today's changing environment. This program identifies necessary competencies and integrates the curricula to support these outcomes to produce a dental assistant who is a vital member of the dental health team. The learner will become grounded and prepared to function as a Chairside and Expanded Functions clinician, a Business/Office Dental Assistant and a Laboratory Dental Assistant. Graduates of the program are capable of practicing in a general dental practice or in a dental specialty. Progression through the program is sequential. Due to the limited amount of space in the clinical area, learners will be admitted on space available basis. Successful completion of all courses in the dental assisting program require passing with a C/2.0 GPA or above.

The program is designed to meet the American Dental Association's Commission on Dental Accreditation Standard for Dental Assisting with the clinical skills and competencies as designated by the State Dental Practice Act of Minnesota State Board of Dentistry. A unique aspect of the South Central College's Dental Assisting program is its location on the Minnesota State University, Mankato campus in a newly refurbished 12-unit dental clinic, with restorative facilities, shared by MSU's Dental Hygiene program.

Program Delivery: Students will be admitted Fall Semester of each year.

Basic Entrance Requirements

Due to accreditation regulations, only students who have a high school diploma or GED and are over the age of 18 are eligible for admission to this program. 

Core Competencies

  1. Demonstrate skill competency in oral/written communication and patient management.
  2. Demonstrate practical application of infection control, biohazards/quality assurance procedures, and treatment area maintenance.
  3. Demonstrate skills to collect medical/dental data, vital signs, dental charting, and maintain accurate patient records.
  4. Conduct extra-oral /intra-oral exams, radiographs, preliminary impressions, study casts and occlusal bite registrations.
  5. Demonstrate competencies skills and proficiency in tray set-ups, unit preparation, and medical emergency situations.
  6. Apply current dental assisting concepts and techniques through competency skill levels and clinical/laboratory dental assisting, expanded functions, general and specialty dental procedures.
  7. Demonstrate competency / skill in business office procedures and equipment, dental practice management systems, and financial transactions.

Department Faculty

Stephanie Culhane,   Jennifer Dumdei